Hypothetical World War III

Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by Captain Clark Terrell, Sep 12, 2013.

  1. Captain Clark Terrell

    Captain Clark Terrell Commodore Commodore

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    Decided to post this here because it deals with a plot thread from First Contact that may or may not have come up in literature. We're told that World War III left Earth in a post-atomic horror state until the Phoenix's warp flight began to change things for the better. Have any novels or comics been written about this time period? Has anyone to tried to depict how the war itself may have unfolded. I ask because a friend of mine wonders if World War III could have been manipulated by entity like Skynet and fought between man and machines like the Terminators.

    I've never thought about it, to be honest with you. But it seems plausible. The 2050s aren't 2029, but they're close. One could make the argument that the intervention of the Terminator during the second James Cameron film altered the timeline enough that Judgement Day was actually pushed back several years (but still happened). It most likely would have taken place after the 2020s because there's no mention of it while Sisko and Bashir are trapped in San Francisco of 2024.

    Thoughts?

    --Sran
     
  2. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Well, first off, obviously there is never going to be any crossover of Terminator elements into Star Trek, because they're owned by different studios. That's the sort of conjecture that might be worth discussing in Fan Fiction, but it's a nonstarter in Trek Lit (particularly since story ideas are a no-no here).

    That aside, Trek Lit dealing with WWIII includes The Lost Era: The Sundered by Michael A. Martin and Andy Mangels, and two stories from Strange New Worlds 9: "Mestral" by Ben Guilfoy (set just before the war and featuring Zefram Cochrane) and "The Immortality Blues" by Marc Carlson (which is based on The Sundered's depiction of WWIII and shows it from Flint/Akharin's perspective).

    Federation by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens offers an alternative take on Cochrane's life and WWIII, one that's since been overwritten by canon.
     
  3. Leto_II

    Leto_II Captain Captain

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    There's also David Brin's Wildstorm TNG graphic novel Forgiveness, set in the year 2052 (the year before the war starts), and which deals with one of the inventors of transporter technology.

    From a strictly-canonical viewpoint, I was more than a little disappointed that the novel Federation was overwritten by the events of ST:FC, although that was certainly more than the prerogative of the Paramount production team at the time.

    That said, I prefer to think that perhaps a version of the novel's events still occurred (in slightly-modified form) in the movie continuity, with some of the dates moved around, etc. -- the novel's version of Zefram Cochrane's early life, for example, still meshes quite well with what we know from later sources (and actually fits better with his portrayal in "Metamorphosis," IMO).

    It certainly beats simply throwing out the novel altogether, at the very least.
     
  4. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    "The Immortality Blues" is one of my favorite SNW stories ever written. :techman:
     
  5. Santa Claws

    Santa Claws Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Well, I guess that could explain why the state of robotics in the UFP is less advanced than it is here, now. The Terrans outlawed the technology after almost being wiped out by them, a la the Augments.

    But seriously, no.

    Besides the perfectly logical things Christoper said, there's also the fact that Cochrane and his band of survivors didn't seem too worried about being mowed down by robot death troops at any given moment.

    Star Trek's take on WWIII is humanity taking itself to the edge of the abyss, then, against all odds, and with the help of some new friends, recovering from that, and learning to finally overcome our hatred and live together in peace. It kind of loses something if it's "us vs. the robots".
     
  6. jpv2000

    jpv2000 Captain Captain

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    This is my opinion as well.
     
  7. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't know... I think it actually makes less sense for the young Cochrane of the 21st century to be recognizably the same character as the 235-year-old Cochrane who's spent the past 150 years with only a gas cloud for company. A person should change profoundly over such a span of time.



    I used to think that way, until I realized that simply removing a book from continuity doesn't entail "throwing it out" in any way. I'd reached the point where I was mentally editing and rewriting books so much to force them to fit that I was failing to enjoy them for their own individual merits and idiosyncrasies. I realized I was doing the books a disservice by thinking they had to serve Continuity above all else. And I realized it was more fun just to read the books in the spirit they were intended, to let them be out of continuity and enjoy the freedom that gave them to be themselves. Star Trek is supposed to be about celebrating diversity, after all, not bulldozing it into a homogeneous mass.
     
  8. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    But... assimilation!:p
     
  9. Masiral

    Masiral Captain Captain

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    Yeah, I agree. It's really about making peace with each other, not banding together to fight off evil robots. We, as human beings, decide to work together to create a better future, not out of necessity, but out of basic human decency.
     
  10. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Let's not forget the key role that Count Dressler played in the conflict.
     
  11. JeBuS

    JeBuS Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Wow, never heard of that before now. That's one of those ones I would just shake my head at and forget I ever heard of.
     
  12. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    If I was the King Of All Star Trek, the Gold Key comics would be the canon. And nothing else.
     
  13. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Even the first issue where Spock blithely exterminates a planet full of sentient life?
     
  14. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    I would love to see WW III actually depicted in a series of Trek novels. We only know the barest essentials of it - that the ECON (Eastern Coalition) was involved, as was Colonel Green, and it took place in 2053 - so there's lots of room to breathe. A full-out balls-to-the-wall series would probably run at least three novels. And it wouldn't even have to involve any current characters either.
     
  15. Defcon

    Defcon Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    To be honest, I doubt even a single novel would sell enough to be wortwhile enough for S&S to produce, let alone a trilogy.
     
  16. Stevil2001

    Stevil2001 Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Especially that one.
     
  17. Ríu ríu chíu

    Ríu ríu chíu Fleet Admiral Admiral

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    One thing I'd also like to see regarding Trek's WW III is because of O'Brien's line in DS9's Past Tense. He was talking about a visit to a timeline where Gabriel Bell died and the Bell Riots never happened. Whatever he found there, he never said, but he just remarked "Earth's had its rough patches, but never THAT rough." So whatever he saw there must have been worse than World War III! I wonder how that could be possible...
     
  18. Nob Akimoto

    Nob Akimoto Captain Captain

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    Well WW3's death toll evidently wasn't all that high, all things considered. Given a population in the 10 billion range, 4-500 million while still a tragedy of unfathomable proportions, would mean a fair portion of humanity got off scot free. Presumably most of the casualties would have been in the combatant nations, which would mean you'd see enormous death and destruction in a small portion of the globe.

    Do kinda think this and the Eugenics War are a missed opportunity for movie storytellers. I mean the Khan revelation in STID would've been meatier if there'd been like a Cumberbatch centered EW/WW3 movie as a prequel.
     
  19. Sci

    Sci Admiral Admiral

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    Mere survival is not the same thing as "getting off scot free." 5% of an entire planetary population is huge, and would have devastating economic, medical, and social impacts on the survivors.

    That's to say nothing of indirect deaths from lack of infrastructure, disease, mass migrations, and social unrest.
     
  20. rfmcdpei

    rfmcdpei Captain Captain

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    I thought that the figure of a half-billion dead was the total dead from the conflict, including indirect casualties from disease and famine and the like.

    I am grimly curious about the timeline that was created by the death of Gabriel Bell. O'Brien said that the 2048 he and Kira visited was bad:

    Inasmuch as, by the mid-24th century, Earth still hadn't recovered any spacefaring capacity, the Third World War must have been much worse. The scans of the devastated Earth--and of the apparent Romulan-dominated sphere--must be interesting ...

    One thing I found. The script for "A Matter of Time", talking about the asteroid impact on Penthara V, says something disconcerting. Picard:

    "The resulting dust cloud could very well create a phenomenon not unlike the nuclear winters of twenty-first-century Earth."

    Winters?